Music works in an incredible way. It can change our mood, help to relax or make us more confident or balder. A favorite song can change the rhythm of our heart, reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormone) and add some life even to dull and grey Monday mornings. If music is not a type of everyday magic, what is it then?
However, music influences us not only when we switch the radio on or put new dancing hit on our Smartphone. It creates a certain mood in supermarkets, cafes, city streets and even when we switch our favorite games on.
Scientists made an experiment; they showed the same video, adding different sound effects: cheerful pop music, tragic classic sonata, and thrilling music-like sound (the one like you often hear in horror movies).
When members of three groups were asked what they saw, their answers depended on music. The first group said they watched a beautiful inspirational video, people from the second group told that the video was nostalgic or very sad. They complained that the short movie made them feel blue or even upset. The third group told they felt tensed while watching the video expecting something tragic to happen.
Do you see? What we hear influences us not less than what we see: even if it's background music. Good reason to choose your radio wave carefully and a nice explanation while playing your favorite game with the sound off may be less pleasant.
When we choose a game, we are often hooked by its graphics. Bright images catch our eye and if they are combined with an interesting plot and smooth animation, the excellent game is found. What about sound effects? Some players may think it's not really important: in the case, the sound effects are not really nice; you can switch the sound off or switch your favorite music on instead.
However, gaming experts and experienced players are pickier. They believe that sounds are not less than 30% important for the level of satisfaction while playing. So, why the music and sound effects that are created for games are so important?
They Influence Emotional Mood
Just like your favorite song, music in a game can influence your mood. Remember how many times you played a game with simple easy melody and very soon your mood became the same cheerful and silly.
Many simple melodies that accompany games are created to switch our endless route of serious heavy thoughts and put us in a correct mood. Nice way to fight some stress and to forget a bad day!
However, thrilling music can also have some therapeutic effect. Many people like exciting games, which allow throwing some aggression and tantrum. It's better to kill a dozen scary zombies, listening to heavy scary sounds and to come back to your peaceful mode, than to yell at your real-life boss.
They Create the Game Atmosphere
Remember the case with a neutral video and several audios with it? People accept games differently not only due to what they see but also to what they hear. Developers choose music and sound effects to create a necessary atmosphere.
Music can both enforce visual effects and balance them. In the first case, scary images are supported with thrilling music, while in the second case, horror animation may be slightly neutralized with lighter and melodic sounds.
They Give the Clue
Sound effects can be a clue to many puzzles in a game. They may help you to react to your opponents’ actions faster or to understand what an object in front of you is. Often music can tell you that you reached a new level or you shall pay attention to your characters’ changing features. It's more comfortable and safer to receive any kind of sound notification than to search necessary signs, distracting your attention from the game itself.
They Create an Effect of Full Presence
A good game is able to create a feeling we are really present in it. However, to create an effect of full presence with the sounds only is impossible. The game shall be a creative combination of fast and smooth animation, bright realistic images, fascinating plot, and, surely, sound effects.
If you disclose even one element from the list, you won't reach a desirable effect. In this case, music plays the same important role as the quality of soft or visual effects.
Some game collections are dedicated to the same theme and topics. They may have different genres, plots, maps, and animation. However, some visual images and music may identify them as games of the same group.
www.SpiderManX.com is a great example of how music can unite different games and genres, creating a movie-like atmosphere and uniting fans of the theme.
Different Music For Similar Games
www.ItBombs.com is another bright example of music importance. The gaming platform offers many games of the same concept and similar genres. However, each realization is supported by different sounds and visual images.
Starting from primitive cheerful melodies and entertaining sounds and ending up with tensed and exciting music. Try several games with different music and you feel differently while playing.
Digital games are never taken too seriously. However, they play a great role in our life. And they are more complex than people may think. In fact, digital games are a part of modern art that includes writing some exciting plots, painting great dynamic pictures and, surely, creating music. If you want to enjoy the game to the fullest, don't forget that it shall be a combination of all important elements.